Goddess Girija Devi Temple in Jajpur, Odisha is a Shaktipeetha Temple. Girija Devi Temple is one of the Ashtadasha Shaktipeetha Temples.
The 11th Shakti Peetha, Jajpur was consecrated as Dakshayanis navel part fallen here. The presiding deity of Jajpur Asta dasha shakti peetha is Goddess Girija Devi. Goddess Girija Devi is also worshipped with various names such as Goddess Birija Devi, Goddess Virija.
Jajpur is located at a distance of 120 Kms from Bhuvaneshwar, the capital city of Orissa. Jajpur has a rich cultural and historical reference in several hindu scriptures. This place was ruled by King Jajati Kesari in the 10th Century. Hence, the name of the town became Jajpur. Once it was the capital city of Kalinga emperors. Jajpur is also called as ‘Baithangi Theertha or ‘Birija Kshetram.
History of Girija Devi Temple:
The temple of Sri Girija Devi is a very small construction when we compare it to Puri Jagannath Temple or Lingraja Temple of bhubaneshwar. Nobody knows the exact time of the Girija Devi temples construction. But it was renovated in the 13th Century.
Appearance of Goddess Girija Devi Idol:
The whole idol of Goddess Girija Devi is decorated with flower garlands and gold jewelry. We can see only the face of Goddess Birija. The idol is decorated with silver crown full of jewels. Goddess Girija Devi blesses her devotees with her pleasant smiling face and charming looks.
Another significance aspect of this temple is – a well near the main temple of Girija Devi in which devotees perform ritual rites to their ancestors (Pinda pradhaan). People believe that these Pindas will reach Kasi directly. It seems the depth of the well is somewhere around 4 to 5 feet but it never dried up till now.
Legend of Nabhi Gaya – Story behind Gaya Kshetras:
Once a demon called Gayasura was stealing the Yagnaphala (fruit of Yagna) of several Yagnas which was to be taken by Lord Indra. Lord Indra went to Trimurthis (Lord Shiva, lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma) and prayed them to slay Gayasura to protect the Yagna Dharma.
Trimurthis demolished the demon Gayasura and thrown his body parts in various parts of India. His head was thrown in Gaya, navel part was thrown in Jazpur and his feet part was thrown in Pithapuram (Andhra Pradesh). Hence Jazpur is called as Nabhi Gaya (nabhi means navel) and Pithapuram is called as Pada Gaya (Pada means feet).
Lord Yamadharma Raja Temple – Vaitharini River:
At a small distance from Goddess Girija Devi temple, Vaitharani River flows. But now the river is full of polluted water. ‘Dashashwametha Ghat is the most important ghat among all the ghats here. The temple of Lord Yamadharma raj is located here. People believe that one who dips in the holy river Vaitharini and worships Lord Yama would easily cross the River Vaitharini after death. It also said that the water of river Vaitharini has a magical power to treat diseases and can remove all the sins of devotees.
Some other Prominent Temples near Jajpur Shakti Peetha:
Another prominent temple in Jajpur is Sri Shwetha Varahaswami temple. When the Earth was going to be destroyed by a great deluge, Lord Sri Maha Vishnu incarnated as Lord Varahaswami and rescued the earth. Some more important temples of Jajpur are – Lord Jagannatha temple, Satyavrata Temple, Lord Sri Rama Mandir, Lord Sri Siddeshwara Temple, Lord Sri Beleshwara Temple, Varuneshwara temple, and the Sapthamathrukla temples.